Opposition members protesting in the Lok Sabha over the demonetisation issue were Thursday warned of strict action if they attempted to disturb any member who has been called to speak by the Chair. The warning came from Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who observed that disrupting a member who has been called to have his say is “not at all appropriate” and members should bear this in mind or she would be forced to take “stringent action.”
Mahajan preceded her warning by noting that she has been observing for the past two days that some opposition members were creating such disruption. While some members have taken protesting and slogan- shouting as their right, a member asked by the Chair also has the right to be heard, Mahajan said wryly.
Unlike the last several days when she allowed opposition leaders to speak for a while in the Zero Hour, she did not let them do so today, saying they could speak only if they agree to a debate. Her observations came a day after TRS member A P Jithender Reddy was called by the Chair on Monday to initiate the debate on demonetisation under Rule 193 which does not entail voting, but faced continued disruption by TMC members.
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Wednesday, when Reddy had started reading out his written speech, Opposition members, particularly those from the TMC, came near his seat and indulged in vociferous slogan-shouting, apparently to drown his voice in the din. Large number of Congress and other Opposition parties were also seen raising slogans from the aisles or inside the Well.